Legislation Enacted Providing Bicyclists with Additional Rights to Relief for Civil Assault and Battery by Motorists

On January 18, 2013, the District of Columbia enacted the Access to Justice for Bicyclists Act of 2012 (Act 19-625), which provides bicyclists with additional rights to relief for civil assault and battery by motorists. The legislation states, in relevant part, that “[a]n individual who, while riding a bicycle, is the victim of an assault or battery by a motorist, and prevails in a civil action for such assault or battery, shall be entitled to: (1) Statutory damages of $1,000 or actual damages, whichever is greater; (2) Reasonable attorney’s fees and costs; provided, that the total amount of damages is less than $10,000; and (3) Any other relief available under the law.” The legislation becomes effective following a 30-day Congressional review period and publication in the D.C. Register, at which point it will be codified at D.C. Code § 50-1621. [Update: On April 20, 2013, the 30-day Congressional review period ended and Act 19-625 became D.C. Law 19-264.]